REVIEW: Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard

What is the Caramel Cannonball Blizzard?

It’s the most vaguely named of the newest offerings on Dairy Queen’s 2019 Summer Blizzard menu. Yes, it has caramel, and a lot of it, with that word appearing three times in what DQ says is a mix of vanilla soft-serve with caramel-coated caramel truffles, toffee pieces, and caramel topping.

How is it?

Do you know how in fast food commercials the people eating are always smiling, laughing and generally looking a bit too overjoyed to be munching on a $5 value meal? That’s how I behaved while eating this Blizzard, which was a little strange since I was dining alone. But it was just that good, even great.

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard Spoonful

The caramel topping brings a light brown color to the mix and a subtle flavor to the soft-serve, and the toffee pieces add a nice crunch and buttery taste that pairs perfectly with the topping. But the caramel-coated caramel truffles really complete the mix, even beyond their alliterative brilliance. The coating would have been good on its own, but when you bite into a truffle and release the gooey caramel trapped inside you’ll find yourself furiously digging around for the next one.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Another similar truffle, the chocolate-coated caramel variety, has been used sparingly by DQ in past Blizzard concoctions, including the Triple Truffle (along with fudge and peanut butter), and a salted caramel truffle was featured in the not-so-creatively-named Salted Caramel Truffle Blizzard. This version appears to be the first time a caramel-coated caramel one has been thrown into the mix, and I hope it’s not the last.

Dairy Queen Caramel Cannonball Blizzard Caramel Truffle

I must admit that truffle is one of those words I’ve never been completely clear on and been too lazy to seek clarification. I know what the Truffle Shuffle is from watching “The Goonies” countless times, but I’ve always thought it was a type of mushroom.

It turns out they’re not, but they’re a mushroom-like fungus. Not being a fan of mushrooms or mushroom-like fungi, I’ve generally stayed away from them, only to find out that chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, etc. truffles are named simply because of their resemblance to the fungus. The point of that little story is to let any other linguistically-challenged readers rest easy in knowing that there are no mushrooms or fungi in this Blizzard, just sugary goodness.

Conclusion:

It’s always tempting to say the last great thing you had was the greatest ever, and with plenty of tasty Blizzard flavors over the years I’ll refrain from crowning this one king (or perhaps more appropriately, queen) of all Blizzardtopia. But for me, this one is a rightful heir to the throne, and with an untimely demise or two from above, I might bow down and say this is my favorite of all-time.

Purchased Price: $2.89
Size: Mini
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Mini) 470 calories, 21 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat,
0.5 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 250 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 50 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard

What is the Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard?

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard of the Month for April brings together three veterans of the Blizzard universe — Oreo cookie pieces, chocolate chip cookie dough, and fudge — which of course is all blended with vanilla soft serve.

How is it?

It’s not life-altering, but this one ranks solidly in the upper echelon of tasty Blizzard combinations. I’ve never met an Oreo-infused Blizzard that I didn’t like, and the one-two punch of that classic chocolate cookie crunch and fudge is always good, and then the cookie dough adds another level to the experience.

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard Swimming

This has a complex and satisfying flavor combo, especially considering it has only three things mixed in. Plus, the blending of textures here is a bit unique in that is has the crunch of the Oreo wafers and the soft chewiness of the dough. A good number of other Blizzards have just one consistency — be it crunchy, gooey, or chewy — so having two together is a nice change of pace. The cookie dough also prevents this one from hitting the point where there’s too much chocolate, even though that’s a difficult threshold to achieve.

Dairy Queen Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard Spoonful

It’s not the most creative concoction, but props to DQ for not over-hyping the name like they sometimes do by adding “extreme,” “ultimate,” “awesome,” or “blizztastic.” (OK, so it never used that last one, but I wanted to get that term out there so if it ever does, then I can file a frivolous lawsuit for theft of intellectual property.)

Is there anything else you need to know?

This Blizzard might be the record-breaker for the longest gap between the original introduction and re-introduction. According to TIB’s handy dandy Blizzards of the Month chronology, this one was first unveiled back in September 2009 and has since been in hibernation. Nearly a decade later, it’s back. Why now? I have no idea. Maybe because it debuted before Instagram, so the Blizzard wizards at DQ simply forgot they’d already done this flavor.

Conclusion:

If I were a teacher and my job was to grade Blizzards, then I would never take a vacation or even complain about the low pay. And I would give this one a high B or low A, depending on what other Blizzards were in my class and if I was using the flawed bell curve system.

Will I be sad when April is over and the Oreo Cookie Jar Blizzard is gone? Yeah, somewhat, but I’m sure the Blizzard of the Month for May will cheer me up, especially if by some miracle DQ brings back the Nerds Blizzard (Google it, and I dare you not to run out and make it yourself after reading about it).

Purchased Price: $3.89
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small) 710 calories, 27 grams of fat, 14 grams of saturated fat,
0.5 gram of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 106 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 75 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chick-fil-A Frosted Key Lime

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime

What is the Chick-fil-A Frosted Key Lime?

A close cousin of Chick-fil-A’s Frosted Lemonade, the Frosted Key Lime is nearly identical with the same mix of vanilla IceDream soft serve and lemonade, but with the addition of lime flavoring.

How is it?

I enjoyed this with as much pleasure as Chick-fil-A employees claim to have every time I visit. Actually, maybe more pleasure, because I have serious doubts my presence gives said employees that much joy, but this frosty drink certainly did for me.

Surprisingly, I didn’t taste the lemonade, but the pleasant yet not overpowering lime flavor came through along with the vanilla soft serve. The lime gave it a nice tart and sour taste that was well balanced against the sweetness of the soft serve.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The word “pie” — one of the greatest words in the English language — is absent from this product’s name, and that’s my only quibble here. As is, the Frosted Key Lime is delicious. Maybe it’s because I got spoiled by some of the Dairy Queen Blizzards with graham cracker crumbs to complete the pie experience, but I couldn’t help but think the addition of that taste and texture might take this to the next level. Unfortunately, I do not carry graham cracker crumbs on my person (except sometimes accidentally after eating pie), so my theory is still unproven.

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime Top

According to Chick-fil-A, the green color of the Frosted Key Lime comes from spirulina and turmeric. Not having any idea what the former is and only an inkling on the latter, I turned to my friend Google, who informed me that spirulina is a “biomass of cyanobacteria.” Mmmm, sounds good, right? It turns out it’s just blue-green algae. That’s certainly not something I would normally put in my drink, but that description at least sounded a little more palatable. At that point, however, I decided to end my biology lesson and let the turmeric mystery remain unsolved.

Conclusion:

Chick fil A Frosted Key Lime Spoon

Even though what is essentially a lime shake might not seem like anything special, this does stand out compared to the endless variety of shake flavors available. Sometimes simple is the way to go, and the Frosted Key Lime proves that. It’s a really good treat.

Chick-fil-A says this will be available until May 25, or “while supplies last.” I’m not sure the world will run out of soft serve, lemonade, or limes before then, but I don’t know much about the current supply of spirulina, so don’t dawdle.

Purchased Price: $3.95
Size: Large
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 450 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 200 milligrams of sodium, 90 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 64 grams of sugar and 7 grams of protein. (Also available with diet lemonade which reduces the calories, carbs and sugar).

REVIEW: Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream

What is Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream?

One of two new flavors (Chocolate Peanut Butter Midway Mash-Up is the other) released by Edy’s/Dreyer’s in advance of Toy Story 4, which presumably includes a plot featuring a carnival with a midway and a couple of oh-so-cute stuffed animal prizes featured on the package. According to Wikipedia, my sole source of sometimes accurate information, the two new characters are Ducky and Bunny, voiced by Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele. (Wikipedia didn’t specify which was which, and I didn’t think it would affect how the ice cream tasted, so I moved on).

How is it?

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream Where My Swirls At

Quite good, especially considering it’s a light ice cream. It has a surprisingly rich and creamy taste and a more complex flavor than your run-of-the-mill cinnamon ice cream. However, I suspect the particular tub I purchased might have been produced when the quality control manager was taking a potty break, as it seemed pretty light on churro pieces and despite some furious digging I could barely locate the graham cracker swirl promised on the label.

Toy Story 4 Carnival Churro Cravings Ice Cream Closeup

Even taking into account that the photo on the package rarely matches what’s inside, the lack of churro and swirl was a minor letdown. But the churro pieces I did manage to find added a nice texture and extra flavor, and there is definitely a hint of graham cracker, so overall this is a winner.

Is there anything else you need to know?

The movie is not set to be released until June 21, so this product debut seems a bit premature. The good news is that it should be available at least through the end of summer. Also, I learned from the package that it’s “Great for birthdays!” Wow, thanks for the tip, otherwise I might have picked up some frozen broccoli for my next birthday blowout.

Conclusion:

Even with a possible churro and graham cracker swirl shortage, this ranks high for me as a solid choice. And bonus points for it being a light ice cream with 1/2 the fat and 1/3 fewer calories than regular ice cream. I was never good at fractions, but I think that means you can eat ten times as much.

I’m also tempted to sneak this into a movie theater this summer, especially since my local megaplex also serves warm churros, and that would make an incredible, albeit messy and probably short-lived, utensil to deliver the ice cream to my hungry mouth.

Purchased Price: $3.98
Size: 1.5 quarts
Purchased at: H-E-B
Rating: 8 out of 10 (possibly higher with some more freakin’ graham cracker swirl)
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup serving) 160 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 10 milligrams of cholesterol, 75 milligrams of sodium, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Frosted Crisp Apple Pop-Tarts

Frosted Crisp Apple Pop Tarts

What are Frosted Crisp Apple Pop-Tarts?

They’re a Walmart-exclusive variety that’s now a part of the seemingly endless list of Pop-Tarts flavors.

How are they?

Frosted Crisp Apple Pop Tarts 3

Filled with potential but ultimately pretty average. OK, it’s actually filled with apple goo, and that part is tasty. The flavor and consistency reminded me of the hot apple lava that McDonald’s puts in their pies, but not the new, less sugar “healthier” filling it started using a few months ago. It’s more of the previous, full-sugar version.

As an aside, I pity those of you who are not old enough to remember when Mickey D’s would fry their apple pies. Sure, you risked severe burns on the inside of your mouth by eating one, but they were so much better than the baked versions of today.

Frosted Crisp Apple Pop Tarts 2

Back to the Pop-Tarts though, and this version seems kind of like a missed opportunity. Yes, the apple filling is good, but with the standard white Pop-Tarts frosting this doesn’t really distinguish itself from any other regular fruit flavor. Previous members of the apple Pop-Tart family, like caramel apple, cinnamon apple, apple strudel and Jolly Rancher green apple, had something special going on outside with either a flavored and colorful frosting or some type of coating.

This variety is not bad, but maybe the Pop-Tarts people could have tried a little harder to come up with something new and unique. And no, adding “crisp” in front of apple doesn’t count.

Is there anything else you need to know?

It appears that Walmart only offers these in the 16-count “Value Pack” rather than the standard 8-count boxes, so make sure you are prepared for that kind of commitment before purchasing.

Conclusion:

If you are a Pop-Tarts and a crisp apple enthusiast, then you’ll probably enjoy these, but even then it’s unlikely you’ll be itching to stock up before they disappear.

If your goal in life is to try every Pop-Tart flavor ever made, then congrats on setting a pretty awesome goal for yourself and have at it. But if not, there are plenty of other more satisfying and unique flavors out there to try.

Purchased Price: $3.68
Size: 28.2 oz. box/16-pack
Purchased at: Walmart (Exclusive Flavor)
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pastry) 200 calories, 5 grams of total fat, 1.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 180 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 14 grams of sugars, and 2 grams of protein.

QUICK REVIEW: Hershey’s Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces Bar

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar

What is the Hershey’s Milk Chocolate & Reese’s Pieces Bar?

The love child of a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar and Reese’s Pieces, or as the Hershey’s marketing folks put it “the ultimate celebration of the top two iconic chocolate franchises that will melt your heart to pieces for a once-in-a-lifetime epic treat.”

How is it?

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 2

Based on the aforementioned tagline, I was fully prepared for a life-changing, out-of-body experience that I would eventually tell my grandchildren about. Sadly, the little yet-to-be-born rascals will instead have to listen to other stories, like the time I saw The Rock at the airport. But despite not quite living up to the WWE-style marketing hype, this is a tasty treat.

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 3

The Reese’s Pieces stand out nicely from the milk chocolate and provide a solid crunch that is obviously absent from a plain chocolate bar. The candy also adds a light peanut butter flavor that complements the creamy chocolate perfectly without making you think you are just eating a flattened peanut butter cup.

Is there anything else you need to know?

Hershey s Milk Chocolate  Reese s Pieces Bar 4

If the photos don’t give it away, the Reese’s Pieces are actually minis. There is also a king size version of this, but I didn’t have any luck finding it. If that one has a thicker bar with full-size Pieces, it might offer a bit more crunchiness. Also, whoever designed the wrapper apparently doesn’t believe in equality in the candy world, because the Hershey’s part covers much more than half.

Conclusion:

At first glance, I figured this wouldn’t be much different than just chucking some Reese’s Pieces in my mouth along with a bite of a Hershey’s bar, but having the Pieces embedded in the chocolate takes this to the next level. It might not be an epic candy creation — like Reese’s Pieces were — but it’s a nice change of pace from the standard chocolate bar.

Purchased Price: $1.29
Size: 1.55 oz. bar
Purchased at: Walgreens
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 bar) 220 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, less than 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 66 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein.